This IST has made room for free-thinking, theoretical exploration, and creative discovery. Our trip to Voorlinden was a fruitful experience for me as I stumbled across what I think is a fantastic work by artist Ryan Gander. I was deeply intrigued and moved by his work 'The Prophet', a tiny robotic mouse sticking its head out of a hole that the British artist had drilled into the gallery wall. There I was crouched down in a corner staring and listening attentively to the computer-animated robot mouse addressing the audience with lines based on Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator (1940).
Gander has slapped me in the face (not literally) with a brutally honest moment of ironic self-reflection. His post-digital perspective painted an unimaginable future without the crutches of instant information and gratification. The Prophet's speech highlights the biggest questions that we face in humanity, from our ability to cognitively time travel to our need for instant information gratification. I immediately watched Charlie Chaplin’s speech in The Great Dictator (1940), and harked through my digital culture essays from my previous media and information study at UVA. I narrowed my theoretical research down to 5 words; Loneliness, Anxiousness, Information, and Digital - addiction. I used these words to propel me forward in my creative thinking process.
My first sketch was a screenshot of my classmates participating in a video call. I couldn't help but notice how ridiculous it was that we were all sitting in the same room (1.5 meters apart of course), looking and speaking to each other through a screen. There was something so sad about this visual image that all I could do was laugh. I then noticed everyone's hands. Some hands were fidgety. Other hands were still. I looked down at my own hands and thought that they looked lonely. So I went home and wrote a text called Lonely Hands, which later transformed into a script for the audiovisual performance installation called Lonely Hands.
*click* on 'Lonely hands Theory' to navigate through my research